Photo of Rebecca Webb

Rebecca Webb
Lecturer in Early Years and Primary Education (Education)
T: +44 (0)1273 876712


These relate to both my substantive areas of interest in Early Years, Primary and Higher Education, and my methodological and theoretical interests in qualitative research.

In particular, my areas of interest are:  purposes of education and schooling, (including Early Years Education); discourses of citizenship, rights and responsibilities, and belonging; equality/diversity; ideas of learning and teaching; gender identities and subjectivities; politics and the political.

My research specialisms relate to ethnography, particularly, and contexts in which I can apply ethnographic and observational sensibilities within qualitiative educational research projects.  I alert to opportunities for exploring new ways of researching qualititatively and with new and diverse partners.

My theoretical interests are broadly focussed on social construction and post-foundational ideas of working with difficulty, contingency and uncertainty.  I am always excited to work with post-graduate students at both Masters and Doctoral level who are interested in problematising 'taken-for-granted' educational discourses.  My doctoral work, and subsequent publications, have drawn on some theoretical resources drawn from the work of of Foucault; Butler; and Rancière.

Currently, I have a focus in three areas:


Conducting research with colleagues at the University of Worcester for TACTYC concerning the possibilities and challenges for maintained state nurseries in England

The pedagogies and methodologies of the social and embodied practices of academic writing with Dr Emily Danvers and Dr tamsin Hinton-Smith - see Writing in Meaning website 

The transformative possibilities for the meanings and purpsoes of education with Dr Perpetua Kirby - see Transform-in-Education website

Recent Publications:

[forthcoming] Kirby, P & Webb, R. (2019) Taking Part, Joining In and Being Heard? Ethnographic explorations of children’s participation in three UK primary schools, in:  J. Todres and Shani King (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Children’s Rights, Oxford: OUP

[under revision] Leaney, S. & Webb, R. (2019) Representation as Politics:  the possibilities of a feminist ethic in ethnographic research, Ethnography and Education.

Webb, Rebecca (2019) Post-structuralism and ideas of gender meet student voice and power. In: Encyclopedia of Teacher Education. Springer Reference Work, Singapore. (Accepted)

Kirby, P. & Webb, R. (2019) Modelling Transformative Education, Forum, Vol. 61. no. 1. Spring 2019

Webb, R. (2018) What Could Possibly Go Wrong? (by way of introducing ‘the ethnographer’ to a primary school assembly), Entanglements: experiments in multimodal ethnography, 1:2 (online journal),

Danvers, E., Hinton-Smith, T. and Webb, R. (2018) Power, pedagogy and the personal: feminist ethics in facilitating a doctoral writing group of Getting Personal: Theorising Doctoral Writing Groups, Teaching in Higher Education, DOI:10.1080/13562517.2018.1456423

Webb, R. (2018) Research methods for pedagogy, Journal of Education for Teaching, 44:3, 407-409,  DOI: 10.1080/02607476.2018.1444000

Webb, R. (2017): The posthuman child – educational transformation through philosophy with picture books, Journal of Education for Teaching, DOI:  10.1080/02607476.2017.1374072,

Webb, R. (2017) Being Yourself:  everyday ways of doing and being gender in a Rights-Respecting primary school, Gender and Education, pp.1-16

Webb, R. (2017) with E. Mayes, S.  Bakhshi, V. Wasner, A. Cook-Sather, M. Mohammad, D.C. Bishop, S. Groundwater-Smith, M. Prior, E. Nelson, J. McGregor, K, R. Webb, R, L. Flashman, C. McLaughlin, E. Cowley, E. (2017). What can a conception of power do? Theories and images of power in student voice work. International Journal of Student Voice, Volume 1, No.1,. Web link:


Recent Conferences/Workshops/Reading Groups:

National Education Union, Celebrating Education event, march 2019, delivering workshop entitled 'Broadening the curriculum to engage with uncertainty - where children are not just working out the correct answer' with Dr Perpetua Kirby

Europa-Universitat Flensburg, January 2019, ZeBUSS delivering academic writing workshops as part of ZeBUSS Winter School

Enhancing Higher Education Through Research Conference, University of Brighton, with Dr Emily Danvers and Dr Tamsin Hinton-Smith, Feb.2019, paper,'Developing academic writing and international doctoral student experience: Transition, translation and the rules of the game'

Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research and the Centre for Teaching and Learning Research at the University of Sussex, Oct. 2018, ‘Critical perspectives on transitions into, through and beyond Higher Education’ conference, with Dr Emily Danvers and Dr Tamsin Hinton Smith, paper, 'Transitioning with and between doctoral spaces for writing and knowing'

National Universities Commission, Abuja, Nigeria, Sept. 2018, contributor to Transformative Higher Education and Pedagogy Conference

Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth (CIRCY) and Centre for Teaching and Learning Research (CTLR), Research-in-Progress seminar, Feb. 2017, with Perpetua Kirby (PhD candidate), 'In conversation Together:  On Schooling and Values'

Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research,  Symposium, SRHE Conference 2017: 'Affect in Academia: Policy Shadows and Perplexing Subjectivities' 

Centre for Teaching and Learning Research Reading Group, May 2017, Chambers, S. Jacque  Rancière's lesson on The Lesson 

Centre for Teaching and Learning Research, April 2017, Open Seminar Series, 'Working The Gap:  innovative explorations of challenging the binary of teaching and research' with Dr Sindi Gordon and members of the 'Research Into Practice' group

University of Sussex Teaching and Learning Conference, April 2017, symposium on: 'Writing into Meaning Together: Inclusive approaches to supporting doctoral students to write' (with Dr T. Hinton-Smith and Dr E. Danvers)

Centre for International Education gender Identities & Citizenship Reading Group, Feb. 2017, Reflections on Butler, J. (1990). Gender trouble. Feminism and the subversion of identity. London and New York: Routledge.

University of Brighton, Dec. 2016, workshop contributors for 'Ethics of Writing/Writing Ethics', paper entitled: The ethics of postgraduate writing

CHEER, University of Sussex (in conjunction with the University of UMEA, Sweden), March 2016, Neoliberalism, Education and Changing Values – Theories and Methods in Educational Research, Keynote methodology lecture delivered entitled, 'Challenging the Mechanistic within Research Methodologies: Using Butler to Work both ‘Within and Against Interpretivism’

UiT, University of the Arctic, Tromso, Oct. 2015, invitation only conference of Gender and Childhood, paper delivered entitled, 'Being Yourself At Top Hill Primary':  everyday ways of being and doing gender in one Rights Respecting Primary School'

Corvinus University, Budapest, ECER, 2015, Symposium contributor to Teachers’ Working Practices and Reform, to deliver paper entitled, Changing Learning, Learning to Change?

University of Dundee, TEPE, May, 2015, Sympoium contributor to Working in Partnership with Schools, to deliver paper entitled, An ‘Emancipatory’ International Partnership of Learning?

Symposium, MMU Qualitative Institute Summer School, July 2015, delivered with 4 doctoral researchers from ESW. University of Sussex, ‘Thinking With’ Vulnerability and Resistance as a Dynamic of the Research/Researcher Process